RE: naturvolk versus kulturvolk

From: Tony Whitson (
Date: Sat Jan 08 2005 - 11:17:16 PST

Steinmentz writes:
The opposition between Kulturvölker (“cultural” or civilized peoples) and
Naturvölker (“natural” or primitive peoples) became ubiquitous in German
scholarly writing in the second half of the nineteenth century, although the
terms were given varying definitions (compare, for example,
Klemm [1843–1852] and Vierkandt [1896]).

Klemm, Gustav. 1843—1852. Allgemeine Cultur-Geschichte der Menschheit.
Leipzig: Teubner.
Vierkandt, Alfred. 1896. Naturvölker und Kulturvölker. Leipzig: Duncker and

fn. 29, p. 50
Steinmetz, George. ""the Devil's Handwriting": Precolonial Discourse,
Ethnographic Acuity, and Cross-Identification in German Colonialism."
Comparative Studies in Society and History 45, no. 1 (2003): 41-95.

-----Original Message-----
From: Mike Cole []
Sent: Saturday, January 08, 2005 12:25 PM
Subject: naturvolk versus kulturvolk

Can anyone point me to the origin of the concepts of naturvolk and
in German thought? I see the notion of volk attributed to Herder, but am
having difficulty finding out where the nature/kultur distinction is
introduced and by whom.

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